05.07.2022 Ruben Felberbaum

The Olympic City of Munich – Retrospect and Outlook

© Architekturmuseum der TUM

Fifty years after the Summer Olympic Games of 1972, the Architekturmuseum der Technischen Universität München in der Pinakothek der Moderne will now offer a look at Munich’s path to becoming an Olympic city, elucidate the planning materials and provide insight into the consequences of the games on urban development.

© Architekturmuseum der TUM

Since the beginning of the 1960s, Munich has undergone rapid urban redevelopment, which increased with the selection of Munich as the host city for the 1972 Olympic Games. By putting on a more cheerful event, the city wanted to set itself apart from the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, which had been misused by the Nazi regime, and convey the image of a transformed Germany.

Ultimately, the 1972 games were overshadowed by the assassinations carried out by the Palestinian terrorist organization known as Black September. Nonetheless, in collective memory the execution and planning of the Munich Olympics remains an outstanding architectural achievement, one with long-term effects on urban development.

© BSB, Bildarchiv, Karsten de Riese

Right from the start, the plans for the Olympic complex were conceived with a view to subsequent use after the games. For instance, Olympic Village for the male athletes became a modern residential development, while the village for the women was turned into student housing. The radio and television centre was transformed into the sports complex for the Technical University of Munich, and the Press City has become a residential complex with an integrated shopping centre. Moreover, the Olympic landscape has developed into a now firmly established recreation and sports paradise for Munich society.

© Behnisch & Partner, Christian Kandzia
© Archiv Günther Grzimek, TUM

Many contemporary documents, including large-scale models as well as photos and filmed statements by those involved in the games, provide a comprehensive picture of Munich’s awakening as a “metropolis with heart”.

On the occasion of the Summer Olympics’ anniversary in Munich, DETAIL celebrates the famous sport pictograms by Otl Aicher in a card game.

Exhibition venue: Pinakothek der Moderne, Barer Straße 40, 80333 Munich (DE)
Exhibition dates: 7 July 2022 to 8 January 2023
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10 am–6 pm; closed Mondays

Further information: pinakothek-der-moderne.de

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